6 lines your boss should never cross

SINGAPORE - Companies these days aren't as formal as those in the old days; colleagues and bosses sometimes become friends.

Hence, it can be confusing as to what's counted as proper employer-employee relations. If a colleague or supervisor consistently makes you feel uncomfortable, chances are he or she has overstepped some boundaries such as gender, personal matters or physical characteristics..

Here are some guidelines as to the six lines your boss should never ever cross. And if he or she does cross these lines, be firm and state clearly that such behaviour should stop.

You may be one of the worst workers in your company, but regardless of what mistakes you've made, there are some things your boss should never say to you.

Belittling or insulting an employee is definitely a no-no, as is using vulgarities on someone. Bosses should not only encourage and motivate, they should also lend a listening ear to employees and provide them with the resources and support needed to complete their tasks.

Click through the pictures below to find out the top 9 things which your boss should never ever say to you.

SINGAPORE - From being groped to being called a 'piece of ass' -- these are some instances of given by victims of sexual harassment at the workplace that have been compiled by women's group AWARE.

A research study conducted by the group in 2007 - 2008 showed that more than half of 500 people randomly surveyed experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment. Calls to the group about this type of harassment were comparable to the number of calls made about domestic violence in this year alone.

54.4 per cent  reported that they had experienced some form of sexual harassment. 25 per cent knew of other people who had experienced some form of sexual harassment, 30 per cent of those who had been harassed indicated that they had been harassed several times, and 12 per cent of those who had been harassed had threatened with forced termination of their jobs if they did not comply.

The survey also showed there were more female victims (79 per cent) than male victims (21 per cent) and harassers often target junior employees or foreign workers who depend on their job to stay in Singapore.

Laws are limited to deal with offenders

In response, Aware has launched the Sexual Harassment Out (Shout) campaign to highlight the problem of sexual harassment in the Singapore workplace, and give victims a platform to share their experiences anonymously. Companies are also asked to their commitment to implement policies against sexual harassment.

It is also calling for written laws to equip employers to deal specifically with this issue and allow victims to seek assistance in a 70-page report on workplace sexual harassment released today.

In the report, Aware said that most companies do not have any sexual harassment policies or procedures in place, as there is no statutory obligation on employers to do so.

Currently, victims of sexual harassment can complain to their employers or their unions, file a complaint in the Subordinate Courts or lodge a civil suit.

If they have been molested, or their modesty outraged, or even raped, they can file a police report.

But even as these offences can be investigated by police, non-physical harassment such as being subjected to unwelcome or lewd comments are treated as non-seizable offences. This means that police will not be able to arrest the offender.

And often, victims find that they have little recourse in the end and most end up resigning, as civil remedies are expensive and do not award damages for emotional distress and psychological damage, and criminal cases are difficult to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

The report also said that Singapore is obliged under the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to enact legislative provisions on sexual harassment in the workplace and in educational institutions.

The Aware report also cited real-life case studies of victims of sexual harassment, who were unable to bring the offenders to justice. Here are three examples:

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